Tag Archives: crafts for kids

Fun Friday: Homemade sidewalk chalk paint

9 Sep
Sidewalk chalk with a twist....paint!

Sidewalk chalk with a twist….paint!

In the summertime, I love the flexibility that my job gives me. I can create my own hours, and I can often work when my kids are asleep. However, some times, I just have to work when they’re up and we’re all home together. On those occasions, I try to get up very early and be done by noon, putting in five or six hours as early in the day as I can, or start late the night before and finish up early so that the best part of the day is not spent with me typing all day.

This summer, when I typed during the daytime hours, my kids always could occupy themselves if they were home. They’ve always had the desire to make and create, concoct and cook. They love DIY sites and Pinterest. My one blog post over the summer was for Oobleck, which they loved making, and today’s is another homemade concoction that they found.

Very few ingredients were needed for this and we had them all at home.

Very few ingredients were needed for this and we had them all at home.

Although we always have a ton of sidewalk chalk on hand (see my post from a few years back about our love for sidewalk chalk and all that it signifies to me) my kids found a DIY for homemade sidewalk chalk PAINT, and were immediately intrigued. What could be better than that? Nothing, apparently. So one Typing Tuesday morning, they asked me if they could make it. The ingredients were simple and we had them all on hand, as well as a bunch of sponge brushes that would be perfect for it, so I gave the okay. They made up a small batch of it and got to work painting outside on the cement. It was just a small amount to try it out, but they decided it was a great thing and would do it again in the future.

The ingredients they needed were:

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

4 Tablespoons Water

6 to 8 drops of food coloring (they chose blue)

There are many sites online that give out this recipe, but here’s a site they found.

Wet, but drying.

Wet, but drying.

The paint was fine on our cement, and as it turns out, even on our wooden deck stairs (that was an “don’t ask permission first, but forgiveness later” situation) and it’s NOT the reason we repainted the deck at the end of this summer, I promise.

The neat thing was that the sidewalk chalk paint dries differently than it goes on, which was a cool changeover to watch and unique from just using regular already-dry sidewalk chalk. The “Hi” picture shows the changeover starting to happen, with the lighter part being the dry part and darker being the still wet part.

Neat, right?

And just as an aside, we had a large cookout over Labor Day weekend, and sure enough, one of the biggest hits of the day with adults and kids alike….you guessed it: Sidewalk chalk! Nothing was more fun than seeing grown men laying on the ground in all kinds of funny poses, being traced by their kids. Our sidewalks looked a bit like a crime scene forensics site afterwards!

Enjoy the weekend and have some fun!

Family Movie Night and Two Books: The Snowman, Some Snowflakes and a Craft

12 Dec
The Snowman movie based on the book

This movie is quick, 23 minutes long and is based on the book by Raymond Briggs


Today is Friday, our wind-down night and often-times we have a Family Movie Night, as I said in last Friday’s post. Yesterday’s recipe was for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, which I said make me think of snowflakes, even though they are chocolate based cookies. That thought of snowflakes leads me to today’s movie, book and craft for kids.

When I was an elementary teacher, the book, “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs was one of my favorites to use as a wintertime activity with the kids. A wordless book, it had gorgeous illustrations, depicting a boy’s journey with a snowman. I used to love having the kids make their own version of the words to go along with the pictures.

That book is now a movie, and although I have not seen it, I wish I had it! According to the description on Amazon, it is based on live action flying footage. It sounds fantastic!

This is the same book that our family had for years until just last week.

The book that I used to have is now gone, donated just a couple of weeks ago, by my generous kids who each year have to make a big pile of books and toys for children who don’t have much, just before Christmas.

Clearly they couldn’t read my mind and know that I was going to use that very book in my blog post this week. When I heard it was gone, I almost went after it but my husband assured me they were putting the boxes on a truck as he was dropping them off, it was gone. So, instead, I am including the picture from Amazon. Sigh…I loved that book.

Speaking of books and snowflakes, when my daughter Caroline was in first grade, she checked out this very cool book about William Bently, a man who studied snowflakes. It includes really amazing photos of snowflakes and my kids were thoroughly intrigued by it. It truly shows that every snowflake is unique.

To me, nothing says winter crafts like paper snowflakes. One year I had my kids make snowflakes for all of the windows in the house (this was not an overwhelming task, we don’t have a ton of windows!) Each of their snowflakes was different and unique, just like real snowflakes. I loved the ones they put up on my bedroom windows so much that I never take them down. My side of the bed is the window side and I happen to sleep on my left side so I look out the window all the time when I’m laying there in the mornings just waking up. I love seeing those snowflakes.

Therefore, my craft for the day is just that: simple.paper.snowflakes.


Paper snowflakes made by the kids

Every snowflake is different and unique, just like the children who make them!

Paper snowflakes made by our girls

I keep my paper snowflakes on my window all year long!

Hours of Fun: Duct Tape Crafts

21 Jan
Bags, pens, wallets, clothing...you can make it all out of duct tape nowadays.

Bags, pens, wallets, clothing…you can make it all out of duct tape!

Do you ever have those moments when you see something that’s so simple and yet wildly popular, and you think, “I wish I’d thought of that first!”

Seeing what kids can make out of duct tape these days gives me those moments.

Turns out you can make anything out of duct tape nowadays.

A book, a kit and oodles of duct tape...the possibilities were endless!

A book, a kit and oodles of duct tape…the possibilities were endless!

This is not a a new obsession in our house, it’s been popular here for at least a year or more, but this Christmas Caroline received additional rolls of tape for her collection, a book of duct tape crafts and a kit to make a duct tape shopping bag.

Hours of fun. And I’m not being sarcastic either. They spent hours working on these crafts.

Specifically, Caroline and Elizabeth made about 15 duct tape covered pens for Don’s front desk at school. Apparently the old pens seemed to walk away by themselves and his hope was that these uniquely decorated pens would stick around a little longer.

No pen pun intended.

Duct tape is all the rage now, and is hours of fun.

Duct tape is all the rage now, and is hours of fun.

Once the pens were completed, Caroline worked on the duct tape covered bag that came with her Alex Crafts kit. Her bag is so cute, her own creation which I’m pretty sure coordinates with her cousin’s creation as well. She found the kit easy to work with and the directions easy to follow.

Duct tape is available everywhere from craft stores like AC Moore, Michaels and Joann Fabrics, to places like Five Below and Walmart. There are tons of cute patterns and seasonal patterns to choose from, and even licensed character tape, like Hello Kitty for example. Caroline’s kit came with several solid colors and a coordinating patterned tape as well.

The girls’ collection of tapes is growing now, with some cute colors and patterns just recently added in.

Sometimes it’s hard to find gifts for the tween/teen set, but duct tape crafting seems to span those age levels and provide enough crafty options that one wouldn’t get bored too easily. I know my tween/teen girls love it over here!

I just wish I’d thought of it first.

Pens before and after the tape

Pens before and after the tape

The growing collection and the guidebook with even more craft instructions inside.

The growing collection and the guidebook with even more craft instructions inside.

How cute is that?!

7 Jan
Such a simple thing made for a very unique gift!

Such a simple thing made for a very unique gift!

Christmas was just a couple of weeks ago, but doesn’t it seem like eons ago already? It makes me just a little bit sad, but like we always say, “If Christmas was every day, we would not appreciate it.”



The good thing is that even though Christmas is over, we now have the whole year to enjoy our gifts. I know I’ve certainly been enjoying mine, and I know my kids have been enjoying theirs also.

I thought that today I’d share with you a unique gift that Elizabeth received in her stocking from my mom and dad.

A roll of blue painters’ tape.


She took it out of her stocking, looked at it, and put it aside and kept going. I don’t think she quite knew what to think, but she didn’t say anything. She was the only one of the three girls to receive this gift.

After the gifts were opened, my mom said, “Let me tell you about the roll of tape.”

It turns out that my mom had seen a link showing all unique gifts for kids and on it was painters’ tape. The link went on to explain that with painters’ tape, kids can create cool designs on the walls, anywhere in the house. As long as the tape is removed in a week or so, it won’t leave any residue.

Immediately my kids were intrigued. They are constantly “creating” things for our walls. As I sit right now there is a four foot mural taped to the wall in front of me in the dining room. I’ll have to show that another day though.

Back to the painters’ tape.

Elizabeth grabbed her tape and the girls went to town. They each did their initials on our wall at the top of our stairs in the living room (which together spells out Elizabeth’s initials also) and then she moved into her room, which is newly painted white as of this summer. She had her walls covered in posters but took some down to make some space.

Below are some photos of her creations. They are still up, so we will have to see how long is too long before we need to deal with the residue. We’re definitely pushing the one week limit but she wants to leave it up just a little longer.

Painters’ tape. Inexpensive, unique, hours of fun.

Great gift!

Their initials and a little house. I love the smoke coming out of the chimney on the house!

Their initials and a little house. I love the smoke coming out of the chimney on the house!

Some of the bedroom artistic creations

Some of the bedroom artistic creations

Back of the bedroom door

Back of the bedroom door